Prone to Wander

“How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell” -Robert Robinson

At work today, hauling back a water truck to Elko from a gold mine off Nevada’s Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America,” I enjoyed some thoughts about God’s grace towards me. How far beyond charitable He has been! That He rescued me from my sinful plight is incomprehensible in and of itself, but to make me, an enemy by birth, a son through Christ’s atoning death on the cross is too wonderful for me to completely grasp. Meditating on these things, part of a stanza came off my lips:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.

These words come from the oft-sung Christian hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Robert Robinson, an eighteenth century Calvinist-Methodist-turned-Baptist minister in England. The hymn itself is ripe with amazed gratitude in response to receiving God’s grace, and a poetic reaction to being pursued and rescued by Christ. The whole song is worth including here because I am wholly unsatisfied with quoting it in part.

Among the many variations, both old and contemporary, the 1758 version is one of my favorites. Despite my own aversion to reading block quotes, I include it below.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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One thought on “Prone to Wander

  1. Deborah Nesper (Bowling)

    Awesome Matthew …we just sang this song at the ending of the year. Awesome thoughts and love of our Lord God ….Thank you

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